Let me start off by saying, there wasn’t a single dramatic event that had me storm out the doors and drop the mic, kind of moment. In June of last year, I finally dragged myself out of bed after being in a 6-month long depression. I have no idea what caused it! I just know I was completely in the depths of it. It had gripped my life and the only people who knew were my immediate family. One Monday in June I said, “enough” to myself! “Get out of the bed!” It was then I decided to live again and not let this take hold of me any longer. The first thing I did was to tell every person I knew what had happened, and why nobody had seen me for months. I figured that if I disappeared for a while again people would know to check on me. It’s a hard thing to admit to people that you are like this and some people may have not even understood why but I had to ask for the help. This was step one for me.
My next step for myself, since I checked out for so long, was to basically kick start my career again. I hadn’t quit doing real estate but I wasn’t really doing anything to help myself either. So I began to really look at how I had represented myself online. Everyone is online and I knew that if anyone was looking for me how did I look like to them as a buyer or seller?
I took a look at my website that hadn’t been updated in years and decided to trash it and start from scratch. I could have created any kind of website, as there are tons of sites for realtors to choose from, but this time I wanted it to represent who I am. I wanted to control all the content that was put on it. Many months later I now have a website that I am proud of! As far as the content, I blog several times a week and write every article myself; this is all from me. ( The wheels of change are rolling quickly and I have been thinking constantly about how a client would like to find a home and what it that would interest them when scrolling on a real estate website. Did I get it right? Only time will tell but currently, I am really enjoying putting out content and I love using my own voice as the narrative.)
The Website Goes Live, Now What Did I Do? Step #3
I have not stopped studied about social media. I have always had a love for Facebook and I had heard of people making quite a business using it to kick start their business and careers. So this is where I started. I started posting and at first nothing; then I’d get a few likes from family but I didn’t quit. I just kept posting and studying. Then I added a video that changed my whole way of thinking. I posted a video on Facebook live of a flooded and gutted home. I did it mostly for people outside the area who had never seen one before, but that simple video got 2,900 views and several comments. Then I got on Facebook live again and asked a simple question. Why do You Love Ascension Parish? That 30-second video got 2000 views but only took me a few seconds to make. I was nervous as hell, and scared, but I jumped out of my comfort zone and did it. Facebook and social media in general, when it comes to marketing, is a simple formula of, how do I get your attention, and when I thought about that I knew video was for me. I knew it would fully represent my intentions as a local realtor in my area. I had so much to learn about my new found addiction for social media attention and how I could show the people of Ascension Parish that I had a lot to offer them as a Realtor here but I needed to give back.
YouTube Step #4
I had a Youtube Channel that I hadn’t used in a way that my new way of thinking was approaching my career. So I pitched it, just like my website and started from scratch. I started it one week prior to the Great Flood of 2016. My first few videos were me and my husband driving around showing how high the water was coming up. I wasn’t showing people in distress or anything gross like that. I mostly did those because it seemed anyone outside of the state of Louisiana had no idea we were flooding. At the time, no national media was even broadcasting it. Those first few videos got thousands of views. This made me nervous only because I didn’t want people to believe I was trying to use people’s despair to cash in on the attention. So I pulled back after a couple of days and began to rethink how I would approach my channel. This was a process for me. Studying and learning how I wanted to make this my own channel and still make it about my community that had given so much to me and my family. Months had gone by and I was always thinking about my next idea for Facebook live when it hit me. Why don’t I make a show specifically about Ascension Parish Businesses. I knew in order to really showcase a local business this couldn’t be a Facebook live thing, it had to be a real show.
Ascension Parish Coffee Talk! Step #5
A Wednesday afternoon I grabbed my iPhone and started recording. The first show I did by myself was about Ascension Parish Schools. I mean that’s why most people find us when they are coming in from out of state. This first show, If I’m being honest with you, is terrible but I knew I was going to post it anyway. I need it to remind me of the idea I had and how it all started. My original idea of doing the show from my living room alone was dumped and I began to reach out to local businesses. I knew after I wrote a blog post about moving to Ascension Parish from out of state that people not from here had no idea how awesome Ascension Parish really is. That was my most popular blog post I had ever written so far. That is when I did my first interview! I guess my enthusiasm for the idea sold my first local business to interview and I was overjoyed when she allowed me to do it. I knew what I would want to see if I was watching so I went that way and it worked. I LOVED the way it turned out, and I knew that other people would love it too. This was a way to give back to the community I loved and help clients get to know how great Ascension Parish is. I have done five shows and seem to be a great way for me and viewers to see all these great new stores that are popping up.
This has been an exciting journey for me and I have needed help to take my career in the direction that I see for myself. This is when I had to take a step back and self-examine every aspect of what I am doing currently. This is when I decided to go with a different company for real estate. Not because they aren’t supportive of me; they completely are. It’s because they really can’t walk me in the direction I want to run my business for myself. This is a completely different way of doing real estate and I believe I have found a company that will work with me to help me achieve my current goals. I am fortunate enough that Villar and Company Family are understanding of my current goals and said I could come back if it didn’t work out for me. I love them all like a real family, They were there for me and my family in some our darkest days and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. I feel truly blessed by each and every person that I have worked with there.
The hardest step. Friday, April 6th I turned my paperwork into My broker Donna Villar and signed with eXp Realty. This is a new concept in real estate but I believe this is the one that will work best with how I currently am approaching my career. It is different than most brokerages in the fact I won’t have a brick and mortar building to turn in paperwork. The concept is new, innovative and super exciting for me. eXp Realty offers so much education and technology training, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I’m very energized by the possibilities of what I can bring to my clients moving forward and can’t wait to see what the future has in store. I’m more than ready for whatever lies ahead. All I know for sure is I am ready and excited for step #7, “Because YOU Matter”.
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC